To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Evian Agreement in 1962, the Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme is joining a host of other institutions wishing to recall this turning point in French and Algerian history in diverse ways. From 28 September 2012 to 27 January 2013, the Jews of Algeria exhibition will retrace the history of the Algerian Jews since Antiquity.
This project stems from a dual awareness of the major impact of the repatriation of the Jews of Algeria on Judaism in France, and the loss of memory of what Judaism was in North Africa, particularly in Algeria.
The Jews of Algeria exhibition highlights the great diversity and complexity of the histories and political and social trajectories of these communities. It also shows the religious life, economic activities and popular culture of the Jews of Algeria, particularly their customs and entertainments. Music is present throughout the exhibition: synagogue melodies, traditional chants, and scholarly and popular music stemming from the Arabo-Andalusian and Maalouf traditions, hybrid blends of European and Latin modes.
The exhibition features some 250 exhibits (manuscripts, books, textiles, objects, artworks) from French and foreign collections and administrative and family archives, complemented by audiovisual documents, maps, chronologies and digital databases.
Around a hundred families responded to the museum’s appeal for donations of family archives launched in 2011, enabling the exhibition to give wide scope to these family mementos, heirlooms and records. Kept for generations, they bear testimony to the Algerian Jews’ maintained or broken links with their history and country of origin. The exhibition provides a fuller understanding both of what Algeria once represented and still represents for these communities today, and the way in which in France they have experienced their disappearance there and the hiatuses and resonances of the official histories of France and Algeria.
The exhibition is accompanied by a cultural and educational programme (panel discussions, literary evenings, films, concerts, guided tours of the exhibition, etc.).
The catalogue is co-published with Skira-Flammarion.
In conjunction with the Mois de la Photo, Sophie Elbaz’s exhibition, Inner Geographies, provides a personal, contemporary vision of the history and memory of the Jews of Algeria
Anne Hélène Hoog
assisted by Virginie Michel and Sophie Rodrigues
Chaired by Grand Rabbi René-Samuel Sirat
This exhibition was supported by the
Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah and the Fondation Rothschild - Institut Alain de Rothschild.
© Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme